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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION - BY SPECIALTY Landscape (Public) topic #3220
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Subject: "Window-mount Lightning Photography Question" Previous topic | Next topic
Zep Basic MemberSun 14-Mar-04 04:55 PM
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"Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"


Milwaukee/Waukesha area, US
          

I need a way to capture lightning images from my car, where it's safe and dry. I purchased a window-mount for my camera but I can't think of a way to construct a little "roof" that would shelter my camera from the elements.

I thought about getting some type of flexible clamp that would mount to the driver's window and the other end would secure a piece of plexiglass or similar above the camera, allowing the rain to run off the plexiglass and away from the camera.

I speculate the problem with this solution would be that the diverted rain would drip in front of the camera - and the lens.

Has anyone created a solution to this or seen a commercial product for lightning photography? I'd also be open to any suggestions on an easier place to photograph lightning. I just figured the car is a relatively safe place to be in a such an environment.

FYI- I also posted this in the Tripods, Heads, and Camera-support forum. Thanks for the help!


"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
14th Mar 2004
1
Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
spacer Awarded for his contributions to the Resources
15th Mar 2004
2
     Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
15th Mar 2004
3
          Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
spacer Awarded for his contributions to the Resources
15th Mar 2004
4
Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Zep
15th Mar 2004
5
Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
15th Mar 2004
6
     Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Zep
15th Mar 2004
7
          Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
15th Mar 2004
8
               Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Zep
15th Mar 2004
9
Reply message RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
16th Jan 2008
10

Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberSun 14-Mar-04 10:42 PM
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#1. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 0


Gent, BE
          

OK, Mac Guyver is needed here

Two easy and cheap solutions:

1) jam an umbrella through the window just above the camera. Don't laugh, it works just great . Make sure the umbrella is large enough so it gets stuck and doens't drop.

2) take a large piece of transparent plastic film (or a cut open clear plastic bag). Open your car door and wedge the top of the plastic film on top of the door by closing it. Drape the plastic film on the outside over the open window. Make a hole in it, through which you stick your lens. Make it tight with the help of a rubberband over the lens'hood.

Good luck

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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spacer Awarded for his contributions to the Resources Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 04:51 AM
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#2. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 1


DE
          

A few times I used a method similar to 1). I use a large umbrella (the type that people use for golfing)and tie it to the door handle inside. Works great, but I don't think I would use it in a thunderstorm . . .

If you have a hatchback then simply open the back and it functions as a roof. But I am not sure if I would use that in a thunderstorm either ...

Happy shooting
Andreas

Andreas
__________________________________________________________________

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 08:53 AM
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#3. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 2


Gent, BE
          

>Works great, but I don't think I
>would use it in a thunderstorm . . .

Using an umbrella can be dangerous during a thunderstorm when you're out in the open, like in the middle of a field, because you'll be the highest point and will probably attract lightning. The umbralla makes you even higher and actually works like a lightning rod. Using it in your car isn't a problem because it doesn't stick out above your car, but is actually inside. It's just sticking half out of the window to form a small roof so that the rain doesn't poor in.

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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spacer Awarded for his contributions to the Resources Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 12:51 PM
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#4. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 3


DE
          

Now, I get it! It never crossed my mind trying to open an umbrella INSIDE the car. }>

I stuck it outside the window, opened it and fixed it to the door handle...

Andreas

Andreas
__________________________________________________________________

Learn more about me and the Nikonians team on ourTeam Page.

  

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Zep Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 07:32 PM
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#5. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 0


Milwaukee/Waukesha area, US
          

Thanks for your comments, all. Phil- the image helped a lot as well. I have a tiny two-door car, so it'll be a little tricky for me.

As long as we're on the subject, what kind of settings do you use to shoot lightning? I've only used a point-and-shoot digital camera, but if I used my SLR I would think I would want to use a medium f/stop and long exposures so I have a better chance of catching some bolts in the frame.

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 07:50 PM
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#6. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 5


Gent, BE
          

I use a wide angle lens wide open and focus to infinity. Set the camera to "bulb" and of course use a sturdy tripod. Make sure you have some nice silhouettes to make a pleasing composition.

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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Zep Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 07:57 PM
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#7. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 6


Milwaukee/Waukesha area, US
          

How long on bulb? 30 sec? 5 min? I currently have an N80 that will work great for long exposures, but I'll be getting a D70 and I don't know how much noise will appear from the long exposures. I know my little CoolPix 775 has terrible noise, but I know things have improved since then.

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 08:07 PM
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#8. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 7


Gent, BE
          

>How long on bulb? 30 sec? 5 min?

Till you caught a lightning If you work digitally I wouldn't keep the shutter open for more than 20-30 sec to prevent noise. Besides, you can just delete the pictures without a lightning on them. It doesn't cost you anything .

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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Zep Basic MemberMon 15-Mar-04 08:17 PM
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#9. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 8


Milwaukee/Waukesha area, US
          

>It doesn't cost you anything

You hit the nail right on the head! Thanks again for the info.

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

"Every exit is an entry somewhere." -Tom Stoppard
Zep

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberWed 16-Jan-08 02:31 PM
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#10. "RE: Window-mount Lightning Photography Question"
In response to Reply # 0


Gent, BE
          

Here's what I mean

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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